Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baptist preacher agrees with Pope Benedict!

H/t to The Recovering Choir Director.

So Catholic Churches have major problems with music as do many evangelical and fundamental churches although the generational perpetrators are reversed. In Catholic Churches, the bad guys are older, more mature, well ensconced musicians who are supported by rebellious priests. They won’t surrender without a fight.

In Bible-oriented churches, the perpetrators are usually young men who like trendy, light music that compares to kumbaya. Often the lyrics don’t offend but neither do they teach, inspire, or motivate us to godliness. But what is lost in value they make up for it in volume. As Rick Warren says of his church music, “It is loud, very loud.” Scuttlebutt says that sometimes it is so loud, it breaks street lights a block away.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Midnight Mass)

For Dec 25, 2007 which is the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we are going to sing the following for the Midnight Mass:
  1. Procession: Come To The Manger
  2. Introit: Dominus dixit ad me
  3. Kyrie VIII (De angelis)
  4. Gloria VIII
  5. Gradual: Tecum principium
  6. Alleluia: Dominus dixit ad me
  7. Credo IV
  8. Offertory: Laetentur caeli
  9. Offertory hymn: Ave Maria (T.L. de Victoria)
  10. Sanctus VIII
  11. Agnus Dei VIII
  12. Communion hymn: Panis Angelicus
  13. Communion: In splendoribus
  14. Recession: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Click on the links to hear samples where available.

4th Sunday of Advent

For Dec 23, 2007 which is the 4th Sunday of Advent, we are going to sing:
  1. Procession: Wake, Awake (AH#306)
  2. Asperges me
  3. Introit: Rorate caeli desuper
  4. Kyrie XVII b
  5. Gradual: Prope est Dominus
  6. Alleluia: Veni, Domine
  7. Credo IV
  8. Offertory: Ave Maria
  9. Offertory hymn: Veni, Veni Emmanuel
  10. Sanctus XVII
  11. Agnus Dei XVII
  12. Communion: Ecce virgo concipiet
  13. Recession: On Jordan's Bank (tune: Puer Nobis Nascitur)
Click on the links to hear samples where available.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

St. Cecilia, pray for us

Happy feast of St. Cecilia to all who are dedicated to the restoration of traditional Catholic music in the Sacred Liturgy.


St. Cecilia, glorious Virgin and Martyr of Jesus Christ, I admire the courage with which you professed your faith in the face of severe persecution, and the generous love with which you offered your life in withness to your belief in the Blessed Trinity. I thank God with you for the wonderful graces He had bestowed upon you to make your life holy and pleasing to Him even in the midst of the wealth that was yours. I thank Him for the privilege offered to you of receiving the glorious crown of martyrdom.

Saint Cecilia, I also admire the purity of love that bound you to the Savior, which was greater in your eyes than any human affection, so that you declared yourself before the enemies of the Church, "I am the bride of my Lord Jesus Christ." Pray for me that in imitation of you I may keep my body pure and my soul holy, and that I may love Jesus with all my heart.

In these times so full of pleasure seeking and so lacking in faith, teach us to profess our faith courageously and to be willing to sacrifice ourselves in practicing it, so that our good example may lead others closer to Christ and the Church He as founded.

In thanksgiving to God for the graces he bestowed on St Cecilia: Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory be. St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr of Jesus Christ, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

OCP meets MTV

I recall the good things done by this priest and his order...However, the following travesty is not excusable.

Hat tip to Christus Vincit blog.

Why the Pope is right to purge modern music

By Damian Thompson
Last Updated: 2:06am GMT 20/11/2007


For decades, the standard of singing in St Peter's basilica has struggled to match that of a Gilbert and Sullivan society.


Pope to purge the Vatican of modern music

By Malcolm Moore in Rome
Last Updated: 2:19am GMT 20/11/2007

The Pope is considering a dramatic overhaul of the Vatican in order to force a return to traditional sacred music.


Monday, November 19, 2007

2nd Sunday of Advent

For Dec 9, 2007 which is the 2nd Sunday of Advent, we are going to sing:
  1. Procession: Hark, A Herald Voice Is Calling
  2. Asperges me
  3. Introit: Populus Sion
  4. Kyrie XVII b
  5. Gradual: Ex Sion
  6. Alleluia: Laetatus sum
  7. Credo IV
  8. Offertory: Deus, tu convertens
  9. Offertory hymn: Creator Alme Siderum
  10. Sanctus XVII
  11. Agnus Dei XVII
  12. Communion hymn: Sicut cervus (G. Palestrina)
  13. Communion: Ierusalem, surge
  14. Recession: Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending
Click on the links to hear samples where available.

Ubi Caritas

This was sung as the communion hymn for the Mass of the 25th Sunday after Pentecost 2007 in conjunction with the administration of the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation by H.E. Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sacred Music Needs Governing, Says Director of Institute

Sacred Music Needs Governing, Says Director of Institute

States Deviations After Vatican II Have Been Rampant

ROME, NOV. 8, 2007 ( Perhaps a pontifical office with authority over sacred music would correct the abuses that have occurred in this area, suggested a Vatican official.

Monsignor Valentín Miserachs Grau, director of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, said this at a conference last Saturday, marking the 80th anniversary of the diocesan institute of Sacred Music of Trent, L'Osservatore Romano reported.

The pontifical institute directed by the monsignor was originally established by the Holy See in 1911. It is an academic institution dedicated to teaching and also performing sacred music. But, Monsignor Miserachs said, "In my opinion, it would be opportune to establish an office with authority over the material of sacred music."


Monsignor Miserachs contended that "in none of the areas touched on by Vatican II -- and practically all are included -- have there been greater deviations than in sacred music."

"How far we are from the true spirit of sacred music, that is, of true liturgical music," he lamented. "How can we stand it that such a wave of inconsistent, arrogant and ridiculous profanities have so easily gained a stamp of approval in our celebrations?"

It is a great error, Monsignor Miserachs said, to think that people "should find in the temple the same nonsense given to them outside," since "the liturgy, even in the music, should educate all people -- including youth and children."

"Much music written today, or put in circulation, nevertheless ignores not only the grammar, but even the basic ABC's of musical art," he continued. "Due to general ignorance, especially in certain sectors of the clergy," certain media act as loudspeakers for "products that, devoid of the indispensable characteristics of sacred music -- sanctity, true art, universality -- can never procure the authentic good of the Church."

A reform

The monsignor called for a "conversion" back to the norms of the Church. "And that 'norm' has Gregorian chant as its cardinal point, either the chant itself, or as an inspiration for good liturgical music." He noted that his recommendations are not related to Benedict XVI's document on the use of the 1962 Roman Missal.

"'Nova et vetera,'" he urged, "the treasure of tradition and of new things, but rooted in tradition."

Monsignor Miserachs suggested that contact with tradition should "not be limited to the academic realm, or concerts or records." Instead, "it should become again the living song of the assembly that finds in it that which calms their deepest spiritual tensions, and which makes them feel that they are truly the people of God."

Friday, November 02, 2007

25th Sunday after Pentecost

For Nov 18, 2007 which is the 25th Sunday after Pentecost and also when the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation will be administered, we are going to sing:
  1. Procession: Ecce sacerdos magnus (Chant version)
  2. Antiphon: Confirma hoc Deus
  3. Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus
  4. Introit: Dicit Dominus
  5. Kyrie XI (Orbis Factor)
  6. Gloria XI
  7. Gradual: Liberasti nos
  8. Alleluia: De profundis
  9. Credo I
  10. Offertory: De profundis
  11. Offertory hymn: O Gloriosa Virginum
  12. Sanctus XI
  13. Agnus Dei XI
  14. Communion hymn: Ubi caritas (M. Duruflé)
  15. Communion: Amen dico vobis
  16. Recession: Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
Click on the links to hear samples where available.

Top Ten Unknown Truths About Sacred Music

Here's an interesting and helpful article by Jeffrey Tucker found at the NLM blog:

In the last week, I've spoken before two groups of Catholics about sacred music and taken questions and observed on their faces looks of confusion and enlightenment (I leave aside the case of the heckler who exhibited red-faced anger). From this experience, I again learned the lesson that I somehow never fully grasp: it is not possible to underestimate people's level of knowledge of the basic facts of liturgy and music.

For decades, Catholic music publishers have been cranking out liturgy workbooks, hymnbooks, guidebooks, book books, and sending well-meaning but woefully uneducated workshop leaders to thousands of parishes, while well-heeled organizations have held hundreds of lucrative national conferences designed to somehow get Catholic musicians up to speed.

Incredibly, the results of all this "education" – which has had no unified theme and has been more about marketing expensive, copyrighted music than actually doing what the Church asks – has been to scramble the brains of Catholic musicians around the country to the point that most have not the slightest clue what they are seeking to do. Lots of money has changed hands but we are further away from understanding than ever before.

So here is my list of the top ten musical unknowns of our day:

      The music of the Mass is not of our choosing; it is not a matter of taste; it is not a glossy layer on top of a liturgy. Liturgical music is embedded within the structure of the liturgy itself: theologically, melodically, and historically.

      Hymns are not part of the structure of Mass. Nothing in the Mass says: it is now time to sing a hymn of your choice. Hymns are permitted as replacements for what should be sung but only with reservations.

      The sung parts of the Mass can be divided into three parts: the ordinary chants (which are stable from week to week), the proper chants (which change according the day), and the priests parts that include sung dialogues with the people.

      The music of for the Mass is found in three books: the Kyriale (for the people), the Graduale (for the schola), and the Missale (for the priest).

      To advocate Gregorian chant is not merely to favor Latin hymns over English ones, because chant hymns make up only a small portion of chant repertoire. It is to favor a sung Mass over a spoken one, and to favor the music of the Mass itself against substitutes.

      Cognitive pedagogy is not the primary purpose of music, so, no, it is not important that all people gathered always and immediately "understand the words."

      The music of Mass does not require an organist, pianist, guitar player, bongos, or microphones. It requires only the human voice, which is the primary liturgical instrument.

      The Second Vatican Council was the first ecumenical council to decisively declare that chant has primacy of place: "Ecclesia cantum gregorianum agnoscit ut liturgiae romanae proprium: qui ideo in actionibus liturgicis, ceteris paribus, principem locum obtineat." (And ceteris paribus does not mean: unless you don't like it. It means even if chant cannot be sung because of poor skills or lack of resources, or whatever, it still remains an ideal.)

      There is no contradiction between chant and participation. Vatican II hoped to see that vernacular hymnody would decrease and the sung Mass would increase. Full, conscience, active participation in the Mass means: it is up to the people to do their part to sing the parts of the Mass that belong to the people.

      The first piece of papal legislation concerning music appeared in 95AD, by Pope St. Clement. It forbid profane music in liturgy and emphasized that Church is the place for holy music. All successive legislation has been a variation on that theme.

It's going to take more than one-hour lectures to undo all the misinformation that has been spread for decades, and the publishers of these popular liturgy guides need an education more than anyone else. But let's be clear what we are talking about here. The paradigm of sacred music amounts to a complete overhaul of what most Catholic musicians think belongs in Mass. And the first step to education is to have an educable spirit.

Will musicians and publishers that have been working for decades in a spurious paradigm—the billions involved do not confer liturgical legitimacy—be willing to rethink matters?